TN Certified VIP

Virtual Information Portal for Faith Leaders

Empowered | Engaged | Equipped

The TDMHSAS Faith-Based Initiatives team is proud to offer this Virtual Information Portal (VIP) as a resource for faith and community leaders who are interested in learning more about opportunities to serve their neighbors who are facing behavioral health challenges. The VIP will feature on-demand trainings related to community ministry and will offer podcasts and videos of discussions with faith leaders and service providers across the state of Tennessee who are on the frontlines serving their communities and congregations even in the toughest situations!

Join us, and be empowered, engaged, and equipped to serve your community's needs!

Call to Action: Why are You Here?

By day Andrea Clements and her son Tanner are employees at East Tennessee State University.  She's a professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Psychology.  He's the Video Services Manger for University Relations.  They're also people of faith who saw a real need in Johnson City Tennessee.  In this video, Tanner and Andi discuss the questions that drew them to serve people living in addiction in their community, the barriers they saw in seeding a new church based in this service, and the basic brain science that's foundational to understanding the struggles that people face. The result is a call to action for all people of faith to reach out and care for their neighbors in new and meaningful ways.

Real Conversations About Real Ministry

In this series, faith leaders and community non-profit leaders discuss what service looks like in the area of meeting a community's mental health and substance use needs.  In real terms, they talk about what it's like to "Walk the Walk" and approach situations that might make some people uncomfortable.

Episode 1: Serving in Complicated Situations

In this first episode, participants discuss what it looks like to start a ministry that works in complicated situations.  Service providers who work with homeless individuals and teen girls facing addiction and mental health challenges talk about the unique aspects of what they do and how churches can be supportive.  A missions pastor helps set expectations through recounting his work with human trafficking.  And through it all, the panelists talk about how faith motivates and informs this often difficult but very rewarding work.

Episode 1: Bonus Discussion - The Importance of the Small Things

After we cut the cameras, our panelists from episode 1 just kept going! We captured their great comments about all of the different roles and "levels of service" that are needed at an agency or to make a ministry successful. They also discuss the unique needs they each have and how faith leaders can organize to provide support and meet those needs.

Episode 2: Serving Children and an Introduction to ACEs

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and how can faith leaders best minister to the youngest members of the community both in the four walls and in the community?  This discussion features experts in early childhood development and a youth ministry leader who open the door to ACEs, brain development, and the role of nurturing adults and safe, stable relationships. 

Links to Learn More

Building Strong Brains TN: This resource from the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth contains a look at ACEs in Tennessee, what the study of our state showed, and how supportive adults can respond and make a difference.  TCCY also has contact information for trainers who can conduct presentations, share information, and materials with your group.

Grow Well TN: In addition to the hospital-based services you would expect, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital offers a host of community based wellness services for children across West Tennessee.

Podcast: Hope Recovered

Real, stigma-busting conversations about living in recovery presented by the amazing team at the Jackson Madison Prevention Coalition. 

Let's Connect!

Reach out to the Faith-Based Community Coordinator for your region:

West Tennessee Middle Tennessee East Tennessee Director of Faith-Based Initiatives
Amy Bechtol
Will Taylor Eric Landry Monty Burks
(731) 256-6886 (615) 203-9066
(843) 509-0764 (615) 770-1783